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Volunteers and Coaches of the Month for May

What a great way to start our Volunteer and Coach of the Month awards!

We have been inundated with nominations so will be spreading them out across the course of the season to make sure everyone gets acknowledged.

Of course, you can nominate other volunteers and coaches each month at

This month, we recognise the following volunteers who were nominated with some of the amazing comments made about them.

Each person nominated goes into our pool of nominees for Volunteer and Coach of the Year Awards and will receive a certificate acknowledging their nomination.

Please take a read below with what people had to say about the legends they nominated.

Volunteers of the Month

Elly Buchanan – Pakenham Eels

Elly is always thinking about everyone else and putting all of us before herself. Expects nothing in return and just a lovely human being. She has gone over and beyond her title within the club. I can’t thing of anyone else so deserving of recognition!

Elly is there for everyone, not only her own club , but any club that visits, she’s always checking on people to make sure everyone is one an everything is catered for. We are very blessed to have such a person involved in our club and are truly grateful for her hard work.

Elly is the back bone of our club, always up late organising things for our club, first to the club and last one to leave. Without Elly our club would not be where it is now.

Elly is an amazing person who is always available when I have questions and need help as a manager and mum of a player. She's always just a message or a call away and ALWAYS helps me when I need it. She literally does laps around the field to make sure to talk to every single parent or coach even with her kids chasing after her.

Chendoah Smith – Eastern Raptors

Chendoah is a young lady who doesn’t play but has become a volunteer because her brother plays. She is the team manager for the Under 16 Boys team and is always keeping the parents informed of information and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible for game day.

Chendoah has also just become a referee and now spends the morning reffing before her team manager duties for her brothers games. We all need more wonderful volunteers like Chendoah who give up their time to help.

Crispina Masiukulukitau – Truganina Rabbitohs

Crispina is the oldest volunteer registered with the club (66 yrs old). He is new to the club and volunteered to be league safe for his grandsons Under 10 team. He struggled with the league safe course as English is not his first language and after many failed attempts was determined to complete the course to be a certified league safe.

Crispina is very passionate about the teams well-being and always at every training an game days to support the team and distribrute bottled, chilled water to drink. He is like a grandpa to the whole team.

Teo Tuakana – Northern Thunder

Teo serves with a big heart and a smile and never complains. Always has time for the Thunder Community. She is the first one at the clubs to open the grounds gates. Always ensures the toilets are clean for use throughout day. She’s the last one there to mop the club room floors.

Teo goes out of her way and sometimes misses her kids games to purchase food the canteen when it runs out as well as food for the after matches. Always keep everyone happy! She is wears her heart on her sleeve!

She does an amazing job within and outside the club. I don't know where to start, she is selfless and does a great job in raising her kids too. She is a great example of a volunteer day in and day out.

Brent Hansen – Wangaratta Knights

A team player, all about the club direction and future and I would not want anyone else to line up next to me in a hard game of rugby league.

Brent has gone to extreme lengths for his club and league. Even with a new baby he is there day in and out helping with running a club and dedication to every game day. Not to mention his great work with the CFA. Loving father, uncle and club man. No one more deserving of recitation.

Coaches of the Month

Courtney Cedelland – Werribee Bears

Not only is she a coach of our u9s, she's a committee member, manages our women’s team, all while pregnant and the mother of already 5 children. She opens our Clubrooms when needed, gives her Saturdays up to dress up for the kids in the morning, and is often one of the last people to leave a home game.

She is always concerned with how others are, always making sure the people around her are happy, and healthy. She always puts others needs before her own, and never complains. She's super woman!

Kirwin Adolf – Truganina Rabbitohs

Coach Kirwin is an inspiration and brilliant role model for the U10 Green Team.

Coach Kirwin is very passionate about rugby and takes the time to help support and guide each and every player on the team (15) to their best ability. I have seen children with no experience come into the team never played before, shy and scared to tackle but after a few training sessions and one on ones with Coach K become confident players.

Coach Kirwin is given every and any child that other teams are concerned about having due to the childs size, experience and safety. But Coach Kirwin doesn’t see that as an issue and enjoys coaching the inexperience as he likes see them grow into the sport throughout the season. He never focus on how good a child plays but about equipping that child with the skills they need to enjoy the game and have fun.

I’ve seen the team grow stronger together into a little family and I credit that to Coach Kirwin. He doesn’t take the game seriously, he doesn’t drill the children into the ground. The parents on the team are amazed by him and really appreciate him and the time he puts into the kids to make sure they play safe while still having fun.

Coach Kirwin even took it upon himself to seek sponsorship from his job to purchase 15 winter jackets for kids as he was tired of seeing them cold, shivering and wet at training and game days.

There are 2x U10 teams at the club and when the other team has a bye, coach Kirwin always ask the club if both teams can have a friendly match so the other teams kids dont miss out.

Michael Griffiths – Casey Warriors

Michael has been a long serving Coach of the Casey Under 18s current age group of players since under 7's with only a one year break during this time. The Team has had moderate success in terms of Finals appearances (1 single appearance for a loss) but outstanding success in fielding a consistently competitive team, with a core of players remaining from inception.

There have literally been 100s of Kids/players Michael has influenced and Various Rep players. His calmness, persistence, patience and reliability has been outstanding and a great Influence on shaping the character of what are now young men.

Ivy Higgins – The Wolfpack

Ivy is a passionate and unstoppable member of our Rugby League community who puts her heart and soul into everything she does.

Ivy has stepped up to become the President and Coach of the Benalla Wolfpack this year, as well as refereeing a game during every round.

There is no one more supportive, friendly, hard-working or vital to the Murray Cup.

Apolosi Latunipulu – Robinvale Storm

Apolosi moved to Robinvale with his young family and joined our club taking on a role as senior men’s coach that hasn’t been filled in 2 years due to COVID.

He took on the job with enthusiasm gaining respect from our rugby league community.

Although not being a local of the town he has definitely fit right in with his willingness to mentor and support our club. Apolosi is committed and has brought with him great expectation of a positive, inclusive and resilient club culture.

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